Neurology and Neurosurgery

Current Clinical Trial Flyer for Intervertebral Disc Herniation in Dachshunds

Below, please find links to all of the clinical trials involving neurology and/or neurosurgery. The studies include a multitude of information, including (but not limited to) the study’s purpose, benefits for participating, and financial incentive information. If you have any questions, please contact the individual outlined at the end of each trial summary.

Please visit the Neurology & Neurosurgery service webpage at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) if you would like to learn more about the amazing things that our neurologists can do for you and your animal.  More information about the Neurology & Neurosurgery service research can be found here.

Dogs

Intervertebral Disc Herniation: Understanding the Condition in Dachshunds

Title: Phosphorylated heavy chain neurofilament as a biomarker in dogs with intervertebral disc herniation

Purpose: Intervertebral disc herniation commonly results in compression and bruising of the spinal cord in dogs, and is commonly seen in dachshunds. Surgery to remove disc material compressing the spinal cord leads to recovery of function in almost all dachshunds that still have pain sensation in their pelvic limbs but the outcome is much more variable when pain sensation has already been lost. Additionally, about 10% of the most severely affected dogs develop a fatal destruction of their spinal cord (myelomalacia) regardless of our attempts to intervene. For dogs that have lost pain sensation, we know that approximately half of them, if surgery is performed promptly, will recover the ability to walk on their own, but we do not have a good means of predicting which dogs will improve following surgery, and how quickly or completely this will happen. The purpose of this study is to assess the utility of pNF-H, a biomarker released from damaged axons of the spinal cord into the bloodstream, to predict return of function following surgery in dachshunds without pain sensation in their hind limbs due to disc herniation.

Contact:

Participation Requirements: Dachshunds with spinal cord injury from intervertebral disc herniation in the thoracolumbar region both with and without pain sensation in the hindlimbs

Initial Evaluation for Participation: Before your dog begins the study, your dog will need to have a blood sample collected, physical and neurological examination, MRI or CT of the thoracolumbar spine to verify disc herniation, and surgical removal of herniated disc material to decompress the spinal cord.

Procedures: If your dog is determined to be eligible for the study and you choose to enroll them, your dog will receive routine diagnostics and treatment as well as the following as part of the study:

  • Blood collection every 12 hours following surgery for up to 5 days and then at the 2-week postoperative recheck visit
  • Neurologic examination at 2-weeks post-surgery and then again at 6-weeks and 3-months post-surgery (for dogs without hindlimb sensation prior to surgery)

Benefits: The study will cover the follow-up examinations and bloodwork while at the VMTH and at the 2-week follow-up (dogs with sensation prior to surgery). For dogs without sensation prior to surgery, an additional 6-week and 3-month follow-up examination will be covered.

While there is no direct medical or financial benefit to your pet’s initial care, this study may result in an ability for us to better predict outcome for dogs in a similar situation as yours in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: We expect your participation in this trial will last for up to 3 months. If you wish to have your pet participate in this study, you will be responsible for covering all routine diagnostic procedures and treatment, bringing your dog to the VMTH, keeping all scheduled appointments, alerting the study veterinarians if your dog regains the ability to walk without assistance while at home between those visits.

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Brain Tumors: Assessing a New Drug Delivery System

Title: MPR nanoparticles to define brain tumor margins in canine primary brain tumors: Phase I pilot study

Purpose: This clinical trial is being done to investigate whether small particles called nanoporhphyrins can be used to better visualize tumors during surgery and potentially to see if they will be a useful method to deliver drugs into brain tumors for treatment.

Contact: Lisa Winn (Neurology Scheduling Coordinator) at llwinn@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1393

Participation Requirements: Dogs provisionally diagnosed with a brain tumor

Procedures: If you agree to let your dog participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • Administration of nanoparticles approximately 12-36 hours, collection of blood and urine for analysis prior to surgery
  • Brain surgery to remove the tumor (standard therapy for brain tumors)
  • Blood collection 1-week post-administration of nanoparticles

Benefits: The study will provide up to $5,000 credit towards your dog’s treatment. 

We hope that this technique will help us to better visualize the tumor on MRI, allowing for better planning of the surgery. Information obtained from your dog's treatment may help to further develop this type of treatment for both dogs and humans and could improve the treatment in both species in the future.

Owner Responsibilities: If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for keeping all scheduled appointments, and covering the costs of your dog’s standard treatment during the clinical trial and any complications arising from that treatment or from the clinical trial procedures. 

Printable Flyer (PDF)

On Hold Until Further Notice

Spinal Cord Injuries in Dogs: Finding a Treatment in Dogs

Title: Transplantation and Tracking of Autologous Epidermal Neural Crest Stem Cells into the Spinal Cord of Dogs with Acute Severe Spinal Cord Injury

Purpose of Study: Dogs that have suffered spinal cord trauma due to a disc herniation are typically treated with decompressive surgery and medication of various kinds. Most dogs do very well with this treatment. However, dogs that have suffered an injury severe enough to cause complete paralysis and loss of feeling to the hind legs often do not recover with conventional treatment. In these dogs, stem cell therapy may improve the ability of the dog to use his/her hind legs and/or to have control of his/her bladder. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the efficacy of stem cell therapy as a potential treatment for acute severe spinal cord injuries in dogs.

If you cannot find what you are looking for, please email us or call (530) 752-5366.